Transitioning into dance


Danielle Hamer

Secrist and dancer Rebecca Imison get crazy.

Danielle Hamer, Scot Scoop In Depth Editor

Adjusting to any class in the new school year can be hard, especially for those in dance classes, where emphasis on collaborating for choreography and practicing dance routines is key.

Many students start their dance careers at Carlmont early on, as underclassmen. This year, Advanced Dance class only has one freshman dancer, Jessica Cramer, who has adapted easily to the environment despite the fact she is the youngest girl in the class.

“Everyone was very welcoming and my first weeks in dance were exciting. I am lucky that I already had a lot of friends in the class that I know from my studio,” said Cramer, who dances at Heartbeat Dance Academy.

Dance teacher Ame Secrist has already started Intermediate and Advanced classes with many projects for the year — routines for the homecoming assembly, the Performing Arts Gala in October, and more.

Cramer said, “From what I have experienced so far, I expect to learn a lot of new things in Advanced Dance this year.”

Secrist also holds team building games during the first weeks of school so girls in each class can get to know each other and bond.

Secrist said, “I hope that the team building games help everyone to feel less intimidated by the time we start dancing. I let the new dancers go with the flow of the class at the beginning, and by the time the first performances pass at the beginning of the year, most girls seem to be very relaxed and comfortable.”

Other students transition from different levels of dance from year to year.

One example is senior Julia Semmler, who had a positive experience when she joined Intermediate Dance her junior year.

Semmler said, “Though I joined dance later on in my high school career, I immediately felt welcome and made many friends. After one year, I feel up to speed with all of the components of dance class and the routine of everything.”

After making this year’s Advanced Dance, there was another atmosphere for Semmler to get used to.

Semmler said, “This year, I had to become comfortable with a new setting and a new group of people. Team building is fun, but not always extremely helpful, because we do not get to spend too much time on it — we have a lot going on.”

With many performances in store for the upcoming year, dancers, both new and old, will have a lot to learn.